(Source: Discovery News)
The sun has erupted with its first X-class solar flare of 2015, a not-so-subtle reminder that it can still muster the energy required to generate the most powerful class of solar explosion.
The magnetic eruption occurred yesterday (Wednesday) at 12:22 p.m. ET (16:22 UT), lighting up a huge area in the lower solar corona (the sun’s magnetically dominated ‘atmosphere’). Shortly after the huge eruption, that measured X2 on the scale of flare energy, Spaceweather.com reports a radio blackout was detected over large swathes of the globe, including much of the Americas.
“The X-flare scrambled the ionosphere thoroughly so that no decametric radio signals were supported in my part of the world,” said amateur radio astronomer Thomas Ashcraft. “The ionosphere started to reform after about fifteen minutes when stations began to reappear. (The stuff visible during the blackout was my own observatory electricity. Nothing exterior.)”
Based in New Mexico, Ashcraft reports that the blackout was most obvious in the frequency range of 15 MHz to 26 MHz.
Good news? There may be some HF band openings in the wake of this flare. We shall see.